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Supreme Court to hear Arizona case involving vote-suppression claims

Supreme Court to hear Arizona case involving vote-suppression claims
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., is on September 29. Photo by Stefani Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a case challenging two Arizona election laws that critics argue make it harder for minorities to cast ballots in the state.

The high court agreed to hear the case Arizona Republican Party vs. Democratic National Committee, in which state Republicans are appealing a lower court ruling that affirmed Democrats' arguments that the laws suppress minority votes.

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Democrats argue that state laws -- which reject ballots that are cast in the wrong precinct and forbid anyone but relatives and caregivers to turn in a voter's ballot -- are racially discriminatory.

Because the high court did not "fast-track" the case, it won't be heard before the election on Nov. 3.

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The challenge will be one of the first election-related suits the Supreme Court hears following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a stalwart supporter of voting rights.

President Donald Trump has nominated appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Ginsburg on the bench. Her confirmation is expected to be approved by the Republican-held Senate and cement a 6-3 conservative majority.

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other elected Republican officials are seeking to overturn a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the laws do disproportionately harm minority populations, who tend to vote Democratic.

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The out-of-precinct rule dates to the 1970s, while the measure outlawing the collection and delivery of another person's ballot -- a practice known as "ballot harvesting" -- was enacted four years ago.

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